Thanks to This is Spinal Tap and The Osbournes, it is now impossible to think of this band as anything other than a bunch of hysterical wankers. At the time of Paranoid‘s release, though, the world was convinced that these working class chums from Birmingham, England (originally called the Polka Tulk Blues Band) were either satanists or an incredible facsimile. Some of that owed to Ozzy Osbourne’s declaration that he had sat through The Exorcist a gazillion times (bat-biting would come later); most was due to the dark thunder of Tony Iommi’s guitar playing, Geezer Butler’s massive bass riffs and apocalyptic songs like “War Pigs.Luke’s Wall” and “Iron Man,” which are no less great for being totally incomprehensible. For better or worse, Paranoid is the birthplace of heavy metal. Mark it with a headstone.
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